In this installment of my blog I’d like to follow a rendering job from beginning to end, highlighting the process.  The subject for this rendering is an urban redevelopment district located in Florida.  I was given two things to start, the photo of the existing conditions, and a massing or block diagram of certain areas of the district that were proposed new construction, shown in purple.

As you can see there is nothing in the way of detail in the building blocks, so that is something I am asked to create.  The existing buildings we see in the aerial photo will need to be shown as they are, and the new buildings will need lots of help.  The architectural theme is kind of a mix of Spanish and Caribbean influences–and it’s pretty much up to me to develop a plausible representation.  This something you get better at with more experience, and I have done many projects where the architecture needs to be invented, so I’m comfortable with that.

So I drew a quick sketch overlay on white tracing paper of what the new buildings might look like.  I included lots of notes and questions for the planners (my client) so they could respond with what they wanted to see in the final version.  A phone conversation with the planners using this sketch overlay got me going onto the next step in the process–the final black and white tracing in freehand felt pen.  This black and white drawing is scanned and sent via email to the planners for approval and/or comments.  Using white-out or sometimes a small patch to the drawing, any changes can be done to the line drawing.  Then a clean copy of the black and white line drawing is made onto a heavy-duty copy paper, and it’s ready for color–in this case, watercolor.  After masking off the edges of the drawing, I begin applying watercolor–generally going from light values to darker as I go.  In this case, the colors of the buildings were left up to me, trying to stay with the Caribbean/Spanish theme for color and architecture.  Once I decide the watercolor is finished, I scan the original and send via email to my client.  There are usually no changes requested at this stage, but sometimes minor adjustments can be made, and then a new scan sent.